Tag Archives: massachusetts

Brookline, MA plastic bag ban

I used to write a lot about plastic bag bans around the world, but at some point, I missed a few and, well, I don't write about them as much. Here's a list of cities that have banned plastic bags. It may or may not be accurate, because New York City is on the list and I don't think they've banned plastic bags.

In any case, Brookline, Massachusetts just banned styrofoam containers and followed that up with a plastic bag ban the next day.

The law will affect supermarkets that have had more than $1 million in gross sales during the previous tax year. Retail pharmacies with at least two locations in Brookline under the same ownership also can’t use the bags, and retail stores with more than 2,500 square feet, or establishments with at least three locations that total more than 2,500 square feet of space in Brookline also can’t use the bags.

Fuck yeah, Massachusetts

This is all I'm saying.


A few other metrics of social well-being: The Bay State has the second-lowest teen birth rate, the fourth-lowest suicide rate, and the lowest traffic fatality rate. The birthplace of Dunkin’ Donuts has the sixth-lowest obesity rate. And depending on the source, the first state to legalize gay marriage has either the lowest or one of the very lowest divorce rates in the country.


First MA rabies case in 75 years.

DAMN IT. We were going for 100 years.

Bats were found in his home and investigators said it’s possible the man never realized he was bitten because the bats’ teeth are so small.


Also interesting, "Almost all domestically acquired cases are attributed to bat bites" and raccoon rabies is pretty concentrated to a small part of the East Coast.

Via @universalhub

Massachusetts’ Winnable Lottery

I remember reading a long article about something like this in Canada or New York or someting, but here's a lottery game in MA that's beatable every couple months if you bet over $100K. The lottery knows about it, but doesn't seem to be doing anything about it because, although it loses money those 10-15 days a year, it's still making an $11.8 million profit for the year.

Because of a quirk in the rules, when the jackpot reaches roughly $2 million and no one wins, payoffs for smaller prizes swell dramatically, which statisticians say practically assures a profit to anyone who buys at least $100,000 worth of tickets.During these brief periods - “rolldown weeks’’ in gambling parlance - a tiny group of savvy bettors, among them highly trained computer scientists from MIT and Northeastern University, virtually take over the game. Just three groups, including the Selbees, claimed 1,105 of the 1,605 winning Cash WinFall tickets statewide after the rolldown week in May, according to lottery records. They also appear to have purchased about half the tickets, based on reports from the stores that the top gamblers frequent most.


Great White Sharks Coming Back To Chatham

I don't think there used to be Great White sharks off of Cape Cod, but there have been the last couple years, and they're coming back this year.
What researchers don't know are how many great white sharks there are, both in local waters in the summer, and along the East Coast. That number could be important since great whites generally don't feed for a month after dining on a seal, Skomal said.


This is great news if you like sharks. It's bad news if you're part of the seal colony of Monomoy Island or, well, me.

The Best Way to Celebrate Patriots’ Day

Today is Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, a day commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord. Refreshing your American History, Lex and Concord were the skirmishes that touched off the Revolutionary War. Incidentally, Maine celebrates Patriots' Day because it used to be part of Massachusetts, but I have no idea why Wisconsin does.

Most of Boston celebrates Patriots' Day by (drunkenly) cheering on runners of the Boston Marathon and (drunkenly) watching the 11 AM Red Sox game. This year, my friend Aaron decided he wanted to celebrate it a little differently so on Saturday he organized the 1st Annual Paul Revere's Ride, a bike ride, following as closely as possible the route of Paul Revere's midnight ride. Revere, you'll remember, rode from Charlestown to Lexington to warn militias along the route that 'regulars' from the British Army were on the march. After 3 serious hills, the ride took us to the site where Revere was captured about 15 miles from Charlestown (though he was then released and made it to Concord to warn the arsenal which allowed the militias to win the day).

I ride to work everyday, but there's a big difference between the 4.5 miles each way and the 31 total miles of the Paul Revere Ride. I was hurting afterward and spent the rest of the day in a haze of exhaustion. In any case, much fun was had by all (except one unfortunate fellow who blew a tube) and I'm already looking forward to next year.

(PS The comments in Universal Hub post from last year's Patriots' Day are really worth a read for everything that's great about Massachusetts and the internet.)

Massachusetts Kicking Health Care Ass

Health insurance in Massachusetts is looked at as something of a canary for the rest of the country. This New York Times article discusses some of the challenges facing and accomplishments achieved by the 2006 Massachusetts law requiring health insurance for residents.
They want a new payment method that rewards prevention and the effective control of chronic disease, instead of the current system, which pays according to the quantity of care provided.

But...then that would make too much sense, wouldn't it? Get it done, Deval.